Diversity reigns when it comes to stolen cars in the United States, with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reporting Monday that there is a 50-50 split between domestic and import vehicles.
NICB’s annual Hot Wheels report – which identifies the 10 most stolen vehicles in the U.S. and determines the vehicle make, model and model year most reported stolen in 2013 – shows that the Honda Accord achieved the dubious distinction of being number one on thieves’ list.
Based on vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), total thefts for the Honda Accord in 2013 numbered 53,995. The Top 10 fills out as follows:
- Honda Civic, 45,001 thefts;
- Chevrolet Pickup (full size), 27,809;
- Ford Pickup (full size), 26,494;
- Toyota Camry, 14,420;
- Dodge Pickup (full size), 11,347;
- Dodge Caravan, 10,911;
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee, 9,272;
- Toyota Corolla, 9,010; and
- Nissan Altima, 8,892.
Some of the same vehicles are included in the Top 25 vehicle makes and models reported stolen during calendar year in 2013, the Top 10 being as follows:
- Nissan Altima, 810;
- Ford Fusion, 793;
- Ford Pickup (full size), 775;
- Toyota Corolla, 669;
- Chevrolet Impala, 654;
- Hyundai Elantra, 541;
- Dodge Charger, 536;
- Chevrolet Malibu, 529;
- Chevrolet Cruze, 499; and
- Ford Focus, 483.
On the positive side, NICB reports that after a slight increase in 2012, the FBI predicts a reduction in national vehicle thefts of 3.2% when final 2013 statistics are released later this year. “If the FBI’s preliminary 2013 vehicle theft estimate holds, thefts will be under 700,000 — a number not seen since 1967 and a reduction in vehicle thefts of over 50% since 1991,” the statement notes.
Despite the improvement, “it still amounts to a vehicle being stolen every 45 seconds and losses of over $4 billion a year,” NICB president and CEO Joe Wehrle says in the statement.
Wehrle applauded steps taken by vehicle manufacturers to improve anti-theft technology and continue to work with NICB insurance company members and law enforcement “to identify and seek vigorous prosecution of the organized criminal rings responsible for so many of these thefts.”
Still, drivers must remain vigilant. NICB recommends the following four “layers of protection” against theft:
- common sense – lock your vehicle and take your keys;
- warning device – having and using a visible or audible warning can help ensure that your car remains where you left it;
- immobilizing device – generally speaking, if your vehicle cannot be started, it cannot be stolen, making options such as “kill” switches, fuel cut-offs and smart keys among the devices that are extremely effective;
- tracking device – a tracking device emits a signal to the police or to a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen (some systems employ “telematics,” which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle).